There's a surprising lot of interesting stuff going on around here, and this space is devoted to discovering and sharing it. We'll post regular updates on merchants, activities and events. Look in often and soon you'll see why Meaford calls itself "The other Big Apple".

posted December 2nd, 2015
Children’s theatre group onstage in Meaford

Aladdin in MeafordThe kids are back in town! On Friday, Meaford Hall hosts the Kids in the Meaford Hall in their seventh annual play featuring school-age actors from local elementary and high schools. This year, they bring to life Alladin And The Wonderful Lamp, written by the late Chicago playwright Michele L. Vacca. You’ll join Aladdin on his adventures after discovering a magic lamp and befriending the genie who’s sleep he’s disrupted.

Back in 2009, Meaford businessman, politician and tireless volunteer decided to launch a theatre group to perform kids’ plays with kid actors. It took awhile. At first, adults had to be enlisted to play about half of the roles. But by last year, the production became a showcase for an all-youth cast, as kids who’d performed in earlier productions brought their experience and confidence to the group.

Every year, the ensemble performs a free show for about a thousand school kids from the local area – alternating a Christmas play with a dramatized folk tale from one year to the next.

There’s a show at 4 p.m and 7 p.m on Friday, December 4. Learn more at Meaford Hall.

posted March 27th, 2015
Enjoy a night out in Meaford

Meaford, Bruce Grey Simcoe, and the Ontario government have released an ad which takes you on a night on the town. Warm gatherings, great food and exciting culture warm up this beautiful, snowy winter’s night. The video was shot at George’s on Main and Meaford Hall and Culture Centre in downtown Meaford.

Posted by Georges on Main on Thursday, March 26, 2015

posted November 29th, 2014
Local “Kids in Meaford Hall” journey to Narnia for The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe

A few years back, a group of dedicated local theatre aficionados, including some parents with school-age children, decided to give kids in Meaford the opportunity to experience the magical experience of theatre, both on stage and behind the scenes. Even more special, that stage and backstage would be at Meaford Hall, where professional theatre and entertainers perform regularly.

Kids in Meaford Hall perform The Lion, The Witch and the WardrobeThe ensemble kicked off with “‘Twas the Night Before Christmas” in 2010, and now, the fifth season features “The Lion, The Witch, And the Wardrobe”, C.S. Lewis’s classic tale come to life on stage. Local kids make up the cast, and take care of many of the behind-the-scenes tasks, along with adult volunteers who build sets, props, create the wardrobe and more.

Tickets are only $15, and kids 13 and under get in free. Get yours for the performance next Friday, December 5 at 7 p.m.

posted October 23rd, 2014
Get an early start on Hallowe’en at Haunted Hill

The haunting begins tomorrow.

Haunted Hill at Blue MountainWhen night falls, if you dare, venture down the road to where the dark mountain looms over the shadowy streets of the village below. There, meet your guide and set forth on a journey through the rustling forest and the crooked village byways, crackling through the dry leaves on the treacherous trails of Haunted Hill.

The “Hike on Haunted Hill”, an unsettling production of Theatre Collingwood and Collingwood Collegiate Institute’s Drama Club, invites you to brave whatever dark things may be lurking in Blue Mountain Village and the surrounding hills – in a frightening and fun seasonal adventure.

The hikes take place on Friday and Saturday, with nightly embarkations at 7 p.m. and 9 p.m. There’s even a daytime hike, that might better suit young’uns or those less stout of heart, at 3 p.m. on Saturday. Tickets are $15 for adults, $10 for youths age 6-12, and kids five and under get in free when accompanied by an adult. Get your tickets by calling 705.443.5522 or in person at the Activity Central Building in Blue Mountain Village.

The Haunted Hike is just part of the family-friendly frights at Blue Mountain this weekend. The Cascade Putting Course, excuse me, the Haunted Graveyard Putting Course, is open after dark. And there’s even more.

posted May 9th, 2014
Beautiful Joe on stage in Meaford

Beautiful Joe found a place in the hearts of millions around the world, and it all started in Meaford. The tale of an abused dog who found a new life with kind owners has been re-incarted before. In the 90s, a local group premiered a play about the pooch at Meaford Hall. At one point or another, Disney has been said to be interested in producing a movie about the mutt. And now, for the second time in 20 years, a new play about Beautiful Joe premieres, produced by the Grey-Bruce Arts Collective in association with the Beautiful Joe Heritage Society . (It’s also Meaford’s second dramatic world premiere in three weeks!)

Beautiful Joe - the play

This time, acclaimed Canadian playwright Michael O’Brien penned the drama, based on Margaret Marshall Saunders’s novel. O’Brien has had productions mounted at major venues and with major companies across Canada, including the National Arts Centre, YPT, Theatre Columbus, the Shaw Festival, and CBC radio. His works and adaptions have been nominated for a Governor General’s Award for Drama and won a Dora Award for Best Production of a Musical.

Beautiful Joe, which kicks off on Wednesday, features professional actors from around the province, and was workshopped last year at the SpringWorks Festival in Stratford, Ontario. It’s “a moving and funny tale for the whole family set in a distinctly Canadian landscape… an invaluable lesson in courage and compassion.”

Limited engagement – only 6 performances – at Meaford Hall
Wednesday, May 14 (Preview Performance): 2:00 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.
Thursday, May 15 (Opening Performance): 7:30 p.m.
Friday, May 16: 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, May 17: 2:00 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.
Tickets are $25 for Adults and $10 for students and can be purchased through the Meaford Hall Box Office at 1.877.538.0463.

posted April 24th, 2014
Meaford celebrity subject of world premiere tonight

A Meaford world premiere was held tonight, and by all accounts, it was a huge success. Fortunately, there’s still time to catch this made-in-Meaford production tomorrow, Saturday and Sunday at Meaford Hall.

Back at the turn of the 20th century, a 17 year-old Bruce Peninsula boy fell against the blade of a huge sawmill buzzsaw and lost both his forearms. The boy was Andrew Gawley, and his heartwarming story of perseverance made him something of a local hero in Meaford, where he eventually settled and ran a repair shop – using the two steel arms he and his blind father fashioned.

Were this tale fiction, you might have a hard time believing it. But now his true story has come to the stage in a play written by Meaford Deputy Mayor Harley Greenfield, and produced, directed and acted by local folks working with Meaford’s Community Theatre group.

Harley remembers, when he was very young, seeing Andrew Gawley in town. He realized the inspirational story of someone overcoming this kind of physical tragedy and eventually becoming a celebrity profiled in newsreels and travelling with Ripley’s Believe It or Not shows was ripe for the telling.

He wrote “Andrew Gawley: The Man with the Steel Hands”, and was pleased to hve Meaford Community Theatre take it on.

“We must remember,” says Harley, “Most people thought at first that he would surely die, and then that he would be absolutely helpless for the remainder of his life, a life that would only lead to misery and despair. But Andy was a fighter, a true life survivor, and he would not succumb to his injuries. He was likely a hundred years ahead of his time when it comes to proving to the world that a handicapped person can be not only a contributor, but also a leader.”

Get tickets at the Meaford Hall website, call 1.877.538.0463 or visit the box office.

An AP story about Andrew Gawley from the St. Petersburg, Florida Evening Independent April 12, 1932

An AP story about Andrew Gawley from the St. Petersburg, Florida Evening Independent April 12, 1932

posted November 30th, 2013
Robin Hood returns to Meaford (a Kids in the Meaford Hall production)

Robin Hood and the Golden Arrow at Meaford HallA few years back, Robin Hood and his merry men descended upon Meaford Hall to enthrall and engage the crowd with their gallant gaiety, chivalrous shenanigans and heroic hijinks. Next Friday, the band returns to take the stage in Robin Hood and The Golden Arrow.

The production, by Kids in the Meaford Hall, features a cast of 28 school-age actors, from local elementary and high schools in an entertaining tale packed with choreographed swordwork and action alongside musical numbers adapted from Disney’s Robin Hood.

(Last time ’round, your blogger had a hand in working on a rather fun special effect. Robin, standing at the back of the audience, drew back on his bow, and across the hall on-stage, the arrow struck the target with a thwack.)

There’s a matinee at 1 p.m. and an evening performance at 7 p.m. next Friday, December 6 at Meaford Hall. Kids 13 and under get in free. For older folks, tickets are only $15. Get yours at Meaford Hall.

posted January 11th, 2013
Attention actors: Audition now for spring 2013 Meaford Community Theatre Production

If you’ve ever dreamed stepping in front of the footlights, or if you’re already a seasoned thespian, get down to the auditions for the lastest production of Meaford Community Theatre. “The Whole Town’s Talking”. The 1923 play by husband and wife team John Emerson and Anita Loos (Gentlemen Prefer Blondes) reveals the hilarious consequences when a man contrives a more interesting past to woo a girl. His invented history of an affair with a famous movie star does the trick – until the movie star (and her jealous boyfriend) come to town.

Director Gordon Rowatt is looking for a cast of five males and seven females ranging in age from young adults to seniors, as well as bit-parts for several teenage girls.

If you’re interested in taking to the stage at Meaford Hall for the production during the last week of April, head down to the auditions on on Saturday, January 12 from 3 – 5pm and Tuesday, January 15 from 7 – 9pm.

Producer Greg Brown is also looking for other crew, including publicity, costumes, sets, prop and stage crew. Head to the auditions or Greg at 519-538-0517.

posted April 20th, 2012
Retirement a perfect time for aspiring actors

Now that Liz Smith’s family is older, she’s “taking the time to do things for myself.” And that includes acting, something she hadn’t done since her high school days, she told Greg Brown in The Meaford Independent. Liz took to the stage at Meaford Hall as Dr. Charlotte in the Meaford Community Theatre production of Marvin’s Room last month.

Marvin's Room Meaford Community Theatre

Retirement provides a perfect opportunity to jump into activities you’ve never had the time for in the past. And we just know a lot of soon-to-be-retirees are harbouring a secret desire for the limelight. With the Meaford Community Theatre and a number of other active theatre groups in the area, formerly shy actors can break out of the dressing room and hit the stage.

To learn more about Meaford Community Theatre and opportunities to audition or apply for behind-the-scenes roles, call Joanne McKenzie at 519-538-9160 or Greg Brown at 519-538-0517.

And if you’re eager to see a small-town community theatre group in action, you don’t need to wait long. In two weeks, Thornbury Community Theatre presents the comedy-thriller A Tomb With a View at the Marsh Street Centre in Clarksburg. Tickets for the performances running May 3 through May 6 are $10 in advance at Thornbury PharmaSave, Stuff to Read in Meaford and The Crow’s Nest book store in Collingwood.

Even tiny Rocklyn, just up the Niagara Escarpment from Meaford, has its own community theatre. Rocklyn Country Theatre put on four shows of Seniors of the Sahara last week to rave reviews.